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Anquan Boldin wants to join the Patriots, but is trapped by the Bills

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The all time great receiver wishes he could play with a contender.

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Former Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, and Detroit Lions wide receiver Anquan Boldin signed with the Buffalo Bills this offseason. He wasn’t expecting to play for a team with a real chance at winning the Super Bowl, but he had at least hoped they would compete.

Then the Bills traded away Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby, two of the best players on the roster. The team acted like it was going into tank mode. After just 13 days with the team, Boldin announced his retirement and intention to focus more on his humanitarian work.

But that’s not the end of the story. Apparently, Boldin and the Patriots were showing “mutual interest” in the wake of Julian Edelman’s knee injury.

“In light of Edelman’s injury, a league source said the Patriots and recently retired Anquan Boldin had mutual interest in bringing Boldin to New England this offseason, and he remains intrigued by the possibility,” The Globe’s Ben Volin reports. “But the point is likely moot. Boldin signed with the Bills, and was placed on Buffalo’s reserve/retired list Aug. 22. That means the Bills retain his rights, and they would need to release him in order to let him sign with the Patriots. That sort of cooperation from a division rival doesn’t seem likely.”

There’s almost no world where the Bills would release Boldin’s contract so he could bolster the Patriots roster. These conversations almost definitely took place prior to the Patriots acquisition of Phillip Dorsett, so I doubt the interest remains on the Patriots side.

But I’m left wondering what would have happened if Boldin were a true free agent and the Patriots needed a great slot receiver. Boldin could have been everything the Patriots wanted at the position and given Boldin a real chance to win a Super Bowl ring.